Air Canada suspends routes amid travel restrictions

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Air Canada will slash routes and furlough 1,500 unionized employees.
Air Canada will slash routes and furlough 1,500 unionized employees.

Air Canada will suspend flights between Toronto and New York LaGuardia, Boston and Washington Reagan National beginning next week as part of a larger 17-route cut across its system. 

The suspension of service between Canada's largest city and those three major East Coast airports comes amid new travel restrictions imposed by the Canadian government in late January. 

Air Canada will suspend flights to Boston Logan from Toronto on Feb. 16. Suspensions on Toronto-Reagan National and Toronto-LaGuardia take effect the next day. The suspensions will last until at least April 30. 

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The moves will leave Canada's largest carrier with no nonstop service between Toronto and the Washington area. The carrier will still serve the New York metroplex from Toronto with flights to Newark.

Air Canada will also suspend service from Montreal to Boston and LaGuardia on Feb. 17 and will halt Vancouver-Seattle service on Feb. 16. 

Movement between the U.S. and Canada has been open only to essential travel and to dual nationals or returning residents since last spring. 

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In late January, Canada also implemented a mandatory PCR Covid-19 test upon arrival, accompanied by a mandatory quarantine at a designated hotel until the test result is obtained. Those who test positive must then quarantine a designated government facility, while people who have negative tests can quarantine at home. 

Also in late January, Canadian airlines agreed to suspend service to the Caribbean and Mexico until April 30. 

Air Canada said Tuesday that it will furlough 1,500 unionized employees, in addition to a yet-to-be-determined number of management staff. 

Customers affected by the route cancellations will be contacted with options.

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